Wrights forms presidential exploratory committee

Press release:

For more information:
Thomas Hill
Phone: (704) 621-8621
E-mail: thomasbhill@msn.com

Wrights forms presidential exploratory committee

BURNET, Texas (July 4) – R. Lee Wrights, a former Libertarian Party national vice chair and the editor and co-founder of Liberty for All online magazine, announced today he is forming an exploratory committee to lay the groundwork for a possible bid to seek the Libertarian nomination for president in 2012.

“The Libertarian Party faces a critical test in 2012 and I want to make sure that we’re up to the challenge,” Wrights said. “The Libertarian message in 2012 must be loud and clear – Stop the Wars! Stop the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, stop the war on drugs and alternative lifestyles, stop the war on civil liberties.”

Wrights said that it’s time to stop supporting politicians, regardless of party, who don’t even come close to fulfilling their campaign promises.

“President Obama was elected on a platform of ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Wrights said. “Instead of supporting the troops by bringing them home, he has sent thousands more young men and women to die needlessly to prop up a corrupt government in Afghanistan.”

“Now he’s wavering on his promise to bring the troops home by July 2011,” Wrights said. “He calls the war in Afghanistan a ‘war of necessity.’ It is no such thing. It is unnecessary, irresponsible and a dishonor to the founding principles of our republic.”

The president has also reneged on his promise to reverse the trampling of civil liberties which began under the Bush Administration. “He’s done just the opposite,” Wrights said. “He’s expanded federal power to invade our privacy and curtail our rights. He might not call it the ‘war on terror,’ but President Obama still uses 9/11 as an excuse to justify voiding the Bill of Rights.”

Wrights said he is most appalled by the way the president turns every issue he faces into a war by labeling anyone who opposes him as an enemy.

“Not content with just warring with the Republicans in Congress, the president has turned the Gulf oil spill into a war on oil companies. He’s used the financial crisis, which was largely caused by government regulation, interference and incompetence, to continue waging war on banks and financial institutions,” Wrights said.

“Even after his major victory in ramming through a massive health care bill which imposes federal government bureaucrats into our most intimate and personal health care decisions, President Obama continues to wage war on insurance companies and health care providers,” Wrights said. “Now, he’s opened a new front in Arizona over that state’s attempt to deal with an illegal immigrant situation his administration has failed to address.”

“Where will it end?” Wrights asked. “Is anything or anyone safe from being labeled an ‘enemy of the state’ and incurring the wrath of the federal government’s war-making power?”

Wrights pledged that 10 percent of all donations to his campaign will be given to the LP for ballot access. “Whoever is the 2012 Libertarian nominee for president, we must take our message to all 50 states and our message must be clear and unequivocal – Stop the Wars,” Wrights says.

-30-

88 thoughts on “Wrights forms presidential exploratory committee

  1. Kimberly Wilder

    Off-topic:

    On this fourth of July holiday, shouldn’t our site have a special tribute to “Independents” Day?

    😉

    Well…thanks to everyone here. We all take the time to think about politics, and give ourselves some space and independence from the two, status-quo, corporate-controlled, mega-parties.

    And, I guess, in the spirit of independence, the anarchists and true independents should get an extra cheer today over the third party folks!

    LOL

    Hope everyone has a good weekend. Not a lot of action on-line. Hope that the good guys are having fun, and the bad guys are not up to too much while our backs are turned and our tofu dogs are barbecuing. (Do Libertarians and socialists eat tofu dogs?????)

  2. John Jay Myers

    Lee Wrights is my kind of guy and this is 100% right on the money:
    “The Libertarian message in 2012 must be loud and clear – Stop the Wars! Stop the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, stop the war on drugs and alternative lifestyles, stop the war on civil liberties.”

  3. Michael H. Wilson

    Don’t eat tofu but I was thinking of Bar-b-Queing the neighbors pug if it doesn’t shut up. When I suggested it out loud he picked the dog up and ran inside. And to think he’s a young guy and bigger than me.

    However there are a lot of Libs who are vegetarians or some variation on that theme. I eat very little red meat. Too many antibiotics in it.

  4. NewFederalist

    But… BBQ’d pug is delicious and with very few antibiotics! Chihuahua isn’t bad either but one doesn’t even make a decent sandwich. 😉

  5. Eric Dondero

    Radical Islamist have declared War on the United States of America.

    Since Mr. Wrights doesn’t view it as a War, I wonder how he proposes to protect America?

    Spitballs?

  6. George Phillies

    @8

    First, Mr. bin Laden’s group is not a state and cannot declare war. THey are limited to committing crimes.

    Second, your translation of jihad as ‘war’ is substantially wrong, though it can include warfare.

    Third, we are assured by Benazir Bhutto, shortly before her assassination, that Mr Bin Laden died years and years ago, not where one might have expected, but at about the date at which it became obvious that the sections of his videos with references to current events were all stills with a voice actor.

    Fourth, I don’t care how much they Afghani Student Party complains, shutting down their primary recruiting program, also known as the Predator drone, is a good thing.

  7. Kevin Knedler

    Did not see ONE mention of fiscal policy and the national debt. We might want to “consider” mentioning that to the millions of people out there that are concerned about their future, their 401K’s, retirement, etc.

  8. inDglass

    Wrights read my mind with this “stop the wars” platform. That was my original idea for the 2010-12 BTP program, although we changed it up a bit. I am very excited about a potential Wrights campaign, and I hope he seeks BTP support.

  9. Mike Theodore

    Richard,

    I guess that’s one of those things an ‘exploratory committee’ would examine. This seems like a new process for LP candidates, who usually just jump into the race. So it is possible that this committee would examine such things as not stepping on Ruwart’s toes if she is running, since they are ideological allies.

  10. Robert Capozzi

    On Wrights’s issue selection, I assume these are for internal-party consumption. In 2 years, it could be that the overseas wars will be either over or wound down sufficiently to make them non-issues.

    A “war” on drugs was declared (sorta), so that might make some sense. I don’t recall a “war” being declared on “alternative lifestyles” or “civil liberties.” As campaign issues to voters, these 2 themes ring hollow, as Candidate Wrights would have to first make the case that there ARE wars in effect against those, and then propose to end them.

    Sounds awfully convoluted to me.

    Were I a Svengali to a LP candidate, I’d suggest a different tack than Wrights. I’d call it the “Won’t Be Fooled Again” campaign.

    Thinking out loud, might go something like this:

    If you are a conservative and you voted for W in 2000, you got massive expansions in the Nanny State welfare programs; more intrusive Federal control of education; and the largest deficits and bailouts in US history.

    If you are a liberal and you voted for Obama in 2008, you got the biggest environmental disaster in US history; long extensions of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; and no significant reinstatement of civil liberties.

    There’s got to be another way.

    The 2-party “system” is failed, corrupt and in no one’s interest EXCEPT, perhaps, the political class.

    This time, vote your conscience.

    This time, vote L.

    Don’t be fooled again.

    …or something….

  11. Robert Capozzi

    I of course wish Wrights all the best, but I’d like to see the LP announce a Carlson/Stossel ticket in February 2012, with those 2 announcing in, say, Nov. ’11.

    Also in Feb. 12, I’d like to see the LNCC announce support for Munger for Congress in NC, with an eye toward pouring all resources to making a difference/possibly winning, one campaign.

    Focus.

  12. Robert Capozzi

    Yes, long shots are long shots. Expecting long shots to “win” is a setup for failure.

    Long shots who garner attention and respect and bring us in off the fringes and into the public square seem like useful transitions to me.

  13. Charlie Earl

    In my view, Capozzi #17 and Knedler’s plea for a fiscally oriented approach merge to form an attractive message. Can we win in 2012 with a strong appealing message and two energetic articulate candidates? By assuming that we can’t or won’t capture the White House is obviously self-fulfilling.

  14. Tom Blanton

    I think some political compromise is in order here. R. Lee Wrights should wear a Tucker Carlson bow-tie and promise to personally punch Osama in the nose if Osama tries to make Dondero wear a burka.

    Now, just assume Wrights will win the election and it will happen.

  15. Red Phillips

    For an LP outsider, what “faction” of libertarianism would Wrights be representing?

    And excellent response to Dondero Dr. Phillies.

  16. Steven R Linnabary

    Did not see ONE mention of fiscal policy and the national debt. We might want to “consider” mentioning that to the millions of people out there that are concerned about their future, their 401K’s, retirement, etc.

    This is but only the first news release from the Wrights’ campaign. If I know him at all, you can rest assured that Mr. Wrights will be sending out many news releases pertaining to fiscal responsibility.

    For an LP outsider, what “faction” of libertarianism would Wrights be representing?

    IMHO, that would be the “hard core, no compromise” faction!!

    🙂

    Can we win in 2012 with a strong appealing message and two energetic articulate candidates?

    Well Charlie…there aren’t many in the party with YOUR experience, gravitas and compelling message.

    “Charlie Earl for President” has a certain ring to it…

    😉

    PEACE

  17. Charlie Earl

    Re: Steve @ #28.
    Thanks for the flattering comments, Steve, but the State of Ohio is plenty large for me.
    “Charlie Earl for President” has a certain ring to it… Right, Steve. That ring resembles a bathtub ring.

  18. Red Phillips

    Thanks Trent and Steve.

    I happen to like Jim Burns. He impresses me as a rightist libertarian. That a Constitution Party type likes him is probably the kiss of death for him.

  19. Trent Hill

    Indeed.

    Burns also suffers from the inability to do anything but run for the LP nomination for President, and perenially lose it.

  20. Robert Capozzi

    ce24, thanks, but actually my proto-narrative for a L candidate is intended to be balanced and makes the point that the 2-party “system” has failed.

    Not talking about economic issues, in these times especially, is a non-starter. So is ONLY talking about economic issues.

    IMO, of course. Politics is an art, not a science.

  21. Jill Pyeatt

    Mr. Dondero at 8: Dr. Phillies response was very good. Also, many of us in the Libertarian party believe that our constant meddling in other countries’ affairs constitute a greater threat to the country than the relatively few Radical Islamists who are out to get us.

  22. Jeremy Young

    Wrights begins with a couple of instant advantages: he’s capable of instantly uniting all the left non-establishment factions of the LP, as seen on this thread. By announcing early, he avoids some of the organizational problems Mary Ruwart had last time.

    On the other hand, some disadvantages: Wrights had a larger stature in the party before the just-completed LNC term; he was voted down during his last run for party office (LNC reelection); and he doesn’t possess the media profile to defeat a Root or Barr type if one were to run in 2012.

    I actually see Wrights as a weak candidate for the Radicals. Penn Jillette, Karen Kwiatkowski, or Michael Colley (I know, not a radical, but still) would have been stronger. But certainly, Wrights is the guy I’ll be picking, unless a more media-exposed type comes along.

  23. Gene Berkman

    Regardless of the merits of his viewpoints, Lee Writghts lacks stature, credentials and resources necessary to conduct a national campaign.

    If the Libertarian Party cannot get a candidate with credentials, name recognition, and money, and someone who would not frighten people when his views are taken out of context, we will be better off concentrating on running candidates for Congress and state offices.

    Non-credible candidates impose a cost on the party and we need to recognize that before we get all self-congratulory about someone who says something we agree with.

  24. Robert Milnes

    Jeremy Young, you surprise me by mentioning Karen Kwiatkowski as a radical. I would say she is not. Objectively, a radical would have difficulty climbing so high up the military ladder, don’t you think?

  25. Robert Capozzi

    jy, yes, I agree, uniting perhaps a third of 15K could be an advantage for a Wrights nomination.

    In some corporate circles, they’d call that “winning a fat man’s race”…not PC, I know, but people say it. 😉

    Calculating odds in a tiny universe doesn’t seem to be playing the most effective game. The exhumed body of Murray Rothbard might get the LP’s nomination, too, but I’d hope most would see that that outcome would not be in anyone’s interest! Consider the dog chasing the car and ask it, what are you going to do with it now that you’ve caught it?

    We’ve nominated folks like Badnarik and Bergland…people whom many Ls resonate with their views, but whose credentials to be president were extremely thin, IMO.

    Did those campaigns accomplish much?

    If no, then why take that approach again?

  26. JT

    Gene: “If the Libertarian Party cannot get a candidate with credentials, name recognition, and money, and someone who would not frighten people when his views are taken out of context, we will be better off concentrating on running candidates for Congress and state offices.”

    I agree that a candidate with some name recognition and money would be preferable, even if that person is slightly less pure than Wrights is. This is a race for U.S President, not U.S. Senator, for which I think Wrights would be a very good candidate. I don’t exactly know what “credentials” you think a Libertarian presidential candidate should have.

    I also don’t know what you mean by the party would be better off “concentrating” on running candidates for Congress and state offices without a presidential candidate who has name recognition and money. Do you mean the party shouldn’t even nominate somebody if such a candidate is unavailable? I don’t agree there.

    The Libertarian presidential candidate can get FAR more media exposure than any other person in the LP, no matter who it is. At the very least, that person has the opportunity to recruit thousands more members and activists to the LP (I’m not saying they will, only that they have the opportunity to do so). Anybody who agrees with at least 90% of the Platform, is articulate, and isn’t bizarre would be preferable to nobody, IMO.

  27. AroundtheblockAFT

    Berkman, #37. Obviously you’ve been around the block a few times too We could probably come up with a dozen Libertarians with more real world credible experience than the current occupant of the White House but the vast bulk of voters wouldn’t see it that way Gary Johnson probably has more real world governance experience. We have several LPers with vastly more military experie nce, too. And some small “l” business leaders. And Judge Napolitano. Unfortunately none are likely to run in a party that gets less than 1% of the vote and has some state organizations that aren’t large enough to run a credible race for county commissioner. The LP needs to spend years building up its grassroots before worrying about finding someone who can get even the balance of power in the presidential race.

  28. Robert Capozzi

    around: The LP needs to spend years building up its grassroots before worrying about finding someone who can get even the balance of power in the presidential race.

    me: Do you means “years,” or “decades”? It’s been 4 decades so far. How’s that working out for us?

    If liberty works and is right, could it be that the problem isn’t the focus on inreach vs. outreach, national vs. local. Could it be that the philosophical foundation was itself flawed? That the premises the party was based on were less than true? That there was a mismatch between “principled” absolutism vs. the nature of political (and pretty much all) change, being incremental.

  29. George Phillies

    We can certainly contrast Lee Wrights’ approach — grab a solid libertarian issue, actually a bunch of them — and run with them, with the latest guiding genius proposals from the LNC, as leaked to Liberty for America magazine. This is a preview from our forthcoming issue, though coverage of the return of limousine Bob may tend to push it to shorter length.

    You can certainly contrast Lee Wrights’ approach to running for office, announcing a targeted set of issues as the core for his campaign, with the disagreements on running for office seen between LNC members.

    The LNC email list according to my sources recently had the following dispute between Wayne Root and David Nolan. I believe that the exchange as forwarded to Liberty for America magazine, which is going to be a bit full this issue, is authentic. You may decide for yourself how this sort of discussion advances our National Committee’s business. Root responded to Nolan’s comments (which were in turn a response to an earlier Root post, which we’ll reach separatelybecause it more or less shows stands the opposite of Wayne’s.):

    “On Mon, Jun 28, 2010 at 9:13 PM, Dave Nolan wrote:
    Wayne, I’d have a lot more respect for your unsolicited advice if you actually had a track record of winning elections, inside the LP or outside. In 2008, you ran for our Presidential nomination and YOU LOST by a large margin. You came in third, with 26%, behind both Barr and Ruwart. You just ran for LNC Chair, and YOU LOST, despite raising and spending more than all of your competitors combined (your claim). The Nevada LP begged you to run for U.S. Senate this year, and you refused. Instead, you spoke at an event with Sarah Palin, the whole purpose of which was to rally people to vote for the REPUBLICAN candidate, to defeat Harry Reid. And now you’re still banging the drum for the REPUBLICAN nominee, Sharron Angle, who is not a Libertarian.

    Your lengthy lecture below [GP: Reference is to a still earlier Root statement, not the one provided here] is condescending and filled with inaccuracies. You make sweeping generalizations about other people’s knowledge and skills. You use words like: incredibly dense…arrogant…self loathing…and self defeating. You pretend to be an expert on winning elections when you’ve never won one — or even run for public office. You say the LP has been “anti-Israel” when it hasn’t. To my knowledge, no Libertarian platform or position paper has ever contained a word that is “anti-Israel.” We don’t advocate treating Israel any differently than any other nation-state, but that’s not good enough for you. We have to join the chorus of Israelites, to get those elusive Jewish donors.

    Since you are so good at handing out advice, let’s see how good you are at taking it. Instead of constantly telling the rest of us how we should be doing things, run for office yourself, as I am doing this year. Show us how it’s done, Wayne. When you’re elected mayor of Henderson, or sitting in the Nevada legislature, get back to us with your “how to win” advice.

    In the meantime, why don’t you go to my campaign website: http://www.nolan2010.org and read what’s there. About 90% of what I’m saying plays well with grassroots tea party activists (as opposed to the phony “tea party express” groups set up to lure people back into the Republican party). Hell, Wayne, you could run on my platform! So kindly don’t tell the rest of us which issues to run on, and which to avoid. The world did not begin on July 20, 1961. We are not poor, dumb schmucks who have been wandering around in the wilderness for decades, just waiting for WAYNE ALLYN ROOT to save us from our self-defeating selves.”

    End leaked statement from Nolan.

    To the above, Root according to our source gave the following answer. I’m sure readers can see some modest differences between the following and Lee Wrights’ approach to matters:

    From: wayne
    CC: LNC-Discuss@hq.lp.org
    Sent: 6/29/2010 9:49:57 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time
    Subj: Re: [Lnc-discuss] David Nolan’s LP “Mission Statement”

    David,

    This is Wayne.

    I continue to present my vision for how the LP can market and “brand” itself more successfully…and win elections.

    You continue to respond with personal attacks.

    I won’t bite.

    Everyone can now now clearly see why we’ve been losing for 39 years. It’s all on display.

    As far as you and I…we have a disconnect.

    You continue to misunderstand who my audience is…when you describe my record of winning or losing.

    It’s not 500 people in one small room in St Louis.

    My audience is much larger.

    It’s Glenn Beck, Lou Dobbs, Judge Andrew Napolitano, Jon Stossel, Bill O’Reilly, Larry King, Sean Hannity, Larry Kudlow, Jerry Doyle, G. Gordon Liddy, Mancow Muller, Larry Elder, Neal Boortz…on and on.

    It’s the most influential people in the American media.

    I’ve won with that group.

    And by the way…those are just the biggest names in the media…I’ve won with (in my opinion) a more important group…the thousands of local radio talk show hosts across this country…where I often do 20 interviews a week.

    Just in the 4 weeks since the LP convention (in the dead of summer), I’ve done 50+ local radio interviews from coast to coast. Those talk shows reach millions of mainstream voters.

    Thats the audience I aim at.

    It’s my 5000 fans on Facebook…and the 1000+ who join as my fans every month.

    Overnight between your tirade towards me…and my response this morning…TWENTY new fans joined my Facebook site. That’s progress.

    It’s the thousands of book buyers who made my “Conscience of a Libertarian” book a best-seller. 99% of whom are new to the LP.

    Now my book is being re-released in paperback. I hope to reach tens of thousands more. 99% of them will be new to the LP.

    It’s the 2000 influential people in the audience at FreedomFest who will see me speak 3 times- I believe thats thats the most of any Libertarian at the 3 day event.

    It’s the hundreds of thousands of Las Vegas radio listeners who will hear me GUEST HOST on CBS Radio during the week of FreedomFest from 3 PM to 6 PM (afternoon drivetime).

    It’s the Tea Party crowds of 10,000 or more that give me gigantic ovations.

    It’s the 6 million readers of Newsmax.com- where I’m now a columnist.

    It’s the several hundred thousand readers of the Las Vegas Review Journal- where I’m now a columnist on Sundays.

    It’s the cable TV Network where I’m being seriously considered to host a new national TV show called “Big Brother” about how government ruins the lives of American citizens.

    It’s the national radio syndicators talking to me now about my own national radio show.

    It’s the thousands of strangers who have emailed me begging me to run for President of the United States…and telling me that after watching me on FOX News, or hearing me on the radio…they are now willing to vote Libertarian for the first time in their lives.

    I’m playing to a much bigger audience than yours David.

    All with the goal not just of winning a title of some kind for me…like LNC…but with the goal of growing our party into a national political powerhouse.

    According to that audience…and that goal…I’m winning…and winning big…

    And as a newcomer to the LP and the national political scene, my 2 1/2 year old game plan can only be described as a grand slam home run on the national political scene.

    I don’t need to run for local office to prove my success with David Nolan.

    My gameplan is to become a major Libertarian media star to reach tens of millions of mainstream voters…to influence the national dialogue.

    And that plan is a huge winner…and it’s only just begun.

    And YES David, anyone- you included- should have respect for “the unsolicited advice” of that person.

    My advice is not about how to reach 500 delegates in a small room…but how to reach millions of non-Libertarians and small l libertarians.

    You and I are playing on very different playing fields…with very different goals.”

    End leaked Root Statement to LNC.

    Meanwhile, the LNC is meeting this coming weekend in Las Vegas. With some luck the Revolution will be televised.

  30. Andy

    Another joke of a candidate. I hope some better candidates emerge for the LP by the time 2012 comes around. So far everyone that has been mentioned as a possible candidate sucks.

  31. Robert Capozzi

    gp: You may decide for yourself how this sort of discussion advances our National Committee’s business.

    me: Yes, I can think of better uses of time. Of course, I can think of more destructive uses of time, too…for example, filing frivolous complaints with the FEC comes to mind. 😉

  32. Robert Milnes

    This makes me the anti-W.A.R. candidate. In more ways than one.
    Not only am I against W.A,R., I’m anti-war.
    The rightists are for the war against terror in some way or another. & pro-Israel, often knee-jerk, blindly, automatically.
    When I recently wrote about regime change in Iran as solution to sentencing woman to death by stoning, I meant the same sort of regime change I write about the US.-vote in a progressive government. Or the much worse alternative, takeover the government & install a progressive government. The government we have is bad, but it is better than all the others-except a progressive government.
    Root is standing right libertarian (at best) and urging libs right. & join the conservatives et al.
    Lee Wrights is standing at radical left libertarianism & basically urging libs to do it yourself.
    I am standing at the left and urging libs left & join wiith the Greens.
    Libs get a choice.

  33. Thomas L. Knapp Post author

    Bob,

    You write:

    —–
    We’ve nominated folks like Badnarik and Bergland…people whom many Ls resonate with their views, but whose credentials to be president were extremely thin, IMO.

    Did those campaigns accomplish much?

    If no, then why take that approach again?
    —-

    Replace the names “Bergland and Badnarik” with more “credentialed” names like McBride, Marrou and Barr. Did those campaigns accomplish much either?

  34. June

    While I like Lee I’m afraid I have to agree with Gene that he lacks national stature and name recognition.

    My personal choice would be Penn Jillette (use your imagination for the reasons 🙂 but I have heard that he already declines the honor. I fear the media will continue to ignore the LP’s presidential candidate unless he or she has an already established “fan” club. While it would be nice to find such a person with a political credential, I think name recognition and the ability to accurately articulate the full Libertarian platform is the more critical factor.

    I wish Lee well but I hope that someone with more “star power” (and I don’t mean Root) will emerge in the coming months.

  35. Mik Robertson

    It is a nice campaign marketing angle, “Stop The Wars”. The problem is Obama never campaigned on a platform to stop the wars, so that is a mischaracterization.

    The D’s platform was to win in Afghanistan, combat terrorism and secure the homeland. Obama is pursuing that platform, apparently.

    I think the health care issue and the financial crises are also mischaracterized by the statement. I’m not sure it is only the Obama administration that has failed to address the immigration issue.

    Still, it is not a bad campaign strategy for a Libertarian Party Presidential candidate.

  36. George Phillies

    The latest message from the LP.Org blog.

    “I do not believe the tragedy that is unfolding before our eyes is a mistake, coincidence, or due to incompetence. I believe my old college classmate Obama (Class of ’83 Columbia University) is a Marxist purposefully trying to destroy capitalism, by overwhelming the system, thereby creating a distraction giving him cover to redistribute America’s wealth to his voters (those who create no jobs, pay few taxes, depend on government handouts for survival, or work for government or unions). As a bonus, he gets to bankrupt the groups that contribute virtually all the money to his political opposition. This is truly a “Marxist Triple Play.””

    Glory, glory, PARANOIA!
    Glory, Glory, PARANOIA!
    The New World Order will Destroy ya!
    Black Choppers keep coming on!

    The Marxist claim is far right wing paranoid McCarthyite rose fertilizer from male cows. The claim makes the global warming denier kooks look half-way rational.

    The amusing part of this, in addition, is that if the claim were true, it proves the incompetence of government, namely under Obama there has been a colossal improvement in the net rate at which jobs are being lost.

  37. Robert Capozzi

    tk, in my estimation, MacBride was an important transition figure, as the LP was in its infancy then…it’s first semi-national campaign.

    Barr, of course, garnered more major media appearances than all our other campaigns by far.

    Marrou — despite his short stint as an AK legislator — was more in the Bergland/Badnarik mold. I’m sure he gave his best effort, but my impression was that campaign was strictly single-A.

    There’s nothing “wrong” with single-A, per se, but single-A efforts seem highly unlikely to move the nation.

  38. Robert Capozzi

    …more to tk…

    of course, being credentialed isn’t everything. Paul ’88 was credentialed, but it didn’t accomplish much, near as I can tell.

    Carlson/Stossel or Stossel/Carlson would be completely uncredentialed. I’d imagine they’d be supremely articulate and probably would not prone to Hancock-like hyperbole.

  39. Robert Capozzi

    gp: …global warming denier kooks…

    me: Can’t say I’ve ever been a “denier” or an “alarmist” on the matter, but from what I understand of how the data has been cooked, lost, fabricated, or whatever, my healthy dose of skepticism doubled up.

    gp: The New World Order will Destroy ya!

    me: A close second to WAR’s use of the term “states’ rights” is his “Marxist classmate of mine at Columbia who no one knew” thread that I do wish’d he’d lose in a NY minute. Still, I’ve not seen evidence that WAR is quite into the neo-JBS camp, like we see coming from the Rockwells and Hancocks of the world.

    Perhaps another FEC complaint might reveal more data to support such a conclusion. 😉

  40. Thomas L. Knapp Post author

    Bob,

    You write:

    “Barr, of course, garnered more major media appearances than all our other campaigns by far.”

    If by “of course,” you mean “some people, say, without providing evidence to substantiate the claim,” then you’re absolutely right.

    Based on the actual numbers I’ve been able to track down, I think Barr has a fair claim to having been relatively competitive with Harry Browne on the media front.

    He may have even achieved a significant fraction of the media exposure Ed Clark got.

    He probably didn’t beat either of them for percentage of the American populace reached. And those he did reach, he served vomit like “states rights is the essence of libertarianism” to.

    You also write:

    “Paul ‘88 was credentialed, but it didn’t accomplish much, near as I can tell.”

    He outpolled Barr by percentage of the popular vote.

    I can’t recall at this time how much money he raised, but my recollection is that even without adjustment for inflation, it was in the same ballpark as Barr’s figures. As of two months before the 1987 LP nominating convention, he had already raised $200k (about $350k in 2008 dollars).

  41. Michael H. Wilson

    Here’s the figures from the BLS on employment nationwide. http://www.bls.gov/cew/map_application.htm

    I wish Root would leave Obama out of it. This crap has been going on for years, from Reagan right up to the present.

    Howie, Lie, Cheatum, Steele and Phibbs are some of the best in Congress.

  42. Red Phillips

    “Didn’t she leave the military because she converted to Libertarianism?”

    I don’t think she has ever said that. She retired as a Lt Col at 20 years. It might have contributed to here desire to retire.

  43. Robert Capozzi

    tk, yes, it all depends on how you view and assemble the raw data.

    I — and I believe most statisticians — would view all the LP’s presidential vote totals as statistically insignificant, by themselves and in comparison to each other. You seem to believe that tenths of percentage points ARE significant. If so, we differ there. Fair enough.

    Barr — a late entry to standing for the nomination — had “more major media appearances” is what I said, and I thought we’d beaten that dead horse. Guess not. He appeared numerous times on national cable TV. He didn’t have a few “big hits” like Clark.

    Clark and Browne were more the sort of presidential candidates and campaigns than I’d like to see. Bergland and Badnarik’s? I’ve got gratitude for their efforts, but that’s not the model I’d like to see employed going forward.

  44. Robert Capozzi

    tk: And those he did reach, he served vomit like “states rights is the essence of libertarianism” to.

    me: Is my assumption correct that this is a direct quote? Unfortunate, if so.

    Surely you’ve gotten that I’m not a “states’ rights” guy, yes? A lot of Ls are, though, and I understand and respect that they are. I view them as part of the solution, not the problem, which is a large state, or, I’d say, unpeace.

    Who do you “write off,” Mr. Knapp? Those who use federalism as a means to reducing State violence?

    Those who embrace the notion that fetuses are “parasites”? Or those who do not?

    How’s that hyper-literalism working out for you?

    Is your litmus test that one MUST embrace Knappian absolutism to be a L? Just how “rigorous” are you?

    Or will you run away when challenged? It’s an approach that just might work… 😉

  45. Thomas L. Knapp Post author

    “I — and I believe most statisticians — would view all the LP’s presidential vote totals as statistically insignificant, by themselves and in comparison to each other. You seem to believe that tenths of percentage points ARE significant. If so, we differ there. Fair enough.”

    No, we don’t differ there at all. Or, rather, we only differ to the extent that I understand the meaning of the term “statistically insignificant” and you apparently don’t.

    The LP’s presidential results are miniscule, but they are not statistically insignificant. A statistically insignificant result is a result that could as easily have happened by chance as by intent. The facts that:

    – The LP polls within a comparatively narrow range on a regular basis; and

    – That that range is also regular, or at least highly predictable, relative to the range other parties poll in;

    Indicates that it’s not random chance.

    Internally, it’s also reasonable to ascribe a certain amount of significance to particular variables.

    For example, it’s reasonable to conclude that the upward outlier (Ed Clark 1980) got more votes and more media coverage than the mid-range cluster because it disposed of more money (about $9 million in 2008 dollars).

    It’s also reasonable to conclude that the downward outlier (Bergland — McBride was, as you note, just starting to get the party up to speed) was the downward outlier because it lacked both elements — money and name recognition, either of which can provide a significant boost.

    Beyond significance is real impact: If Harry Browne hadn’t been on the ballot in New Mexico and Florida in 2000, we’d likely have had the election results on the night of the first Tuesday in November instead of having the Supreme Court decide the outcome a month later.

    Where we agree is that the LP’s numbers are too small to draw any sweeping conclusions of the “this is how we WIN” variety from. Some things seem to produce better results than others, but not so much better that they turn the LP from a losing party into a winning party, or seem to point the way in that direction.

    In terms of vote percentage, there’s a cluster in which Michael Badnarik and Bob Barr both belong. Yes, Barr is the top end of that cluster and Badnarik is the bottom of it, with Browne and Paul in the middle, but the range pro-rates out to a couple of hundred thousand votes out of what, 120 million?

    The only conclusion to draw from the data is that if the LP is going to continue fucking around in the sub-1% range, it will do slightly worse in that range with a Badnarik and slightly better with a Barr.

    It doesn’t tell us anything about how a Badnarik would do if external factors boosted the LP to the 34% range.

    Nor by a damn sight does it tell us that a Barr will get us to that 34% range.

    All other things being equal, a more “credentialed” candidate might do better from a starting point in that range … or not.

    The last third party candidate to perform in the 20% range and to poll in the victory range had held no previous political office other than a state schools advisory appointment; his sole “credential” was that the cost of a presidential campaign was pocket change to him.

  46. Thomas L. Knapp Post author

    Bob,

    Yes, that was a direct quote.

    I’m not sure what you mean by “write off.”

    For the moment, at least, I’ve written off the LP and electoral politics entirely; I’m not sure yet how much of that decision is burnout and how much is just plain common sense. I’ll let you know when (if) I figure it out.

    I have no dog in any LP hunt at the moment. I still hang around and call you out when I catch you making unsubstantiated and/or unsubstantiatable claims because it’s fun, and from force of habit.

  47. Robert Capozzi

    tk: The last third party candidate to perform in the 20% range and to poll in the victory range had held no previous political office other than a state schools advisory appointment; his sole “credential” was that the cost of a presidential campaign was pocket change to him.

    me: Hmm, yes, “credentials” can be bought, like Perot did…I assume you’re talking about him.

    You’re right…I wasn’t using the term “statistically significant” in a precise, statistician kind of way. My bad.

    Still, less than 1% is not “significant,” near as I can tell.

    So, to the extent this can be measured, we use proxies. Media coverage is one such proxy. Barr did pretty well with the media, despite his states’ rights faux pas.

    Badnarik pretty much was ignored.

    From what I can tell, Wrights as our candidate is likely to be similarly ignored.

    Maybe that’s a good thing. I seem to recall Wrights at an open-to-the-public NatComm meeting mocking the concept of God. Now, mind you, as a Taoist, I find the concept of God in a western sense kinda, well, sub-optimal. But a member of a national party openly mocking the predominant metaphysical perspective? Sorry. Contra-indicated.

  48. Matt Cholko

    According to the BLS, the percentage of the working age population that was employed in 2009 was the lowest since 1983. Interesting.

    Now, I need to see the percentage of non-government employment. Does anyone know where I can find that?

  49. Thomas L. Knapp Post author

    “I seem to recall Wrights at an open-to-the-public NatComm meeting mocking the concept of God.”

    I’ve worked with Wrights on a daily basis for about 10 years now, and that strikes me as incredibly unlikely…

    … about as likely as, say, Her Royal Highness, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II taking time off from her New York visit to declare for the LP’s 2012 presidential nomination from the counter of Nathan’s Hot Dogs.

    I admit that I’ve never had an in-depth discussion with Lee about his personal religious beliefs, but he very obviously has some deeply held ones.

  50. Robert Capozzi

    tk, it’s possible I was hallucinating, but there were a lot of people in the room. It was at a NatCom meeting in Crystal City, VA.

    Also possible that it was a momentary lapse and that Wrights is generally level-headed and appropriate. Dunno. It was my only impression of him thus far.

  51. R. Lee Wrights

    Re: #67 “I seem to recall Wrights at an open-to-the-public NatComm meeting mocking the concept of God.”

    This never happened. Mr. Capozzi, whom I do not recall ever meeting, is sorely mistaken on this one. No one on the face of the earth can truthfully assert they ever heard me “mocking the concept of God.”

  52. Robert Capozzi

    rlw, I’ve not claimed we met. I was in the peanut gallery. I am being truthful, and would wager large money that I would pass on polygraph test on this one…I could use the money!

    If it’s important to you, we could ask around for other witnesses. Or we could review any tapes that might have been made. Or we can drop the subject. It’s not especially important to me and way down my list of assessing the relative strength or weakness of a candidate.

    One of the things I love about Ls is our open-mindedness as general proposition. I suspect the percentage of atheists, agnostics and free thinkers in the LP is probably MUCH higher than among the Rs and Ds. I happen to believe that that’s cool, but we should be careful and appropriate when such subjects come up in public discourse, as free thinking can be easily misunderstood.

    Of course, everyone makes mistakes, say things they don’t mean, misunderstand what others say and mean, etc., etc.

  53. R. Lee Wrights

    Re: #72 “I am being truthful, and would wager large money that I would pass on polygraph test on this one…I could use the money!”

    No, you are not being turthful. And, any pathological liar can pass a polygraph because they have convinced themselves that they are telling the truth.

    You, nor anyone else, has ever heard me mock the concept of God. The evidence you seek does not exist.

  54. Stewart Flood

    I was at the meeting in question. I’ve never heard Mr Wrights mock the concept of god, at that meeting or at any other meeting during the time we both served on the national committee.

    Both Mr Wrights and I are usually very easy to hear when we speak, so unless he said something in a corner of the room and was whispering, he didn’t do it. Since he would be very unlikely to do that during a meeting, this accusation sounds very suspicious.

    I do not believe that this alleged event took place.

  55. JT

    Robert: “I seem to recall Wrights at an open-to-the-public NatComm meeting mocking the concept of God.”

    You really should have a quote to that effect if you’re going to lob such an accusation. Otw, you shouldn’t throw it out there.

    Robert: “Sorry. Contra-indicated.”

    Just curious: what does contra-indicated mean?

  56. George Phillies

    @74 I cannot imagine being unable to hear either of you at a meeting, and find your statement to be entirely convincing.

    Good luck persuading the LNC to be supportive of a better IT effort.

  57. Robert Capozzi

    Has it descended to this? Sheesh!

    Now I — a person Wrights doesn’t even know!– am not only a liar, but apparently a pathological liar. Wow!

    Seems like if I was going to make something up, I would have come up with something a BIT more damning! It was probably unnecessary to cite that incident that I DO recall, although not verbatim. (Is there a tape of the meeting?) While I wish Wrights all the best — and BTW I publicly stated that I thought the LNC handled his membership flap inappropriately — the thrust of my point is that the notion of his being at the top of our ticket doesn’t excite me, mostly because while I’m sure Lee is committed to the cause of liberty, I don’t see his background as strongly credible enough to garner substantial media coverage.

    If he WERE to get the nomination, I would hope my assessment is incorrect!

  58. Gene Berkman

    Someone who responds to a charge by invoking the term “pathological liar” -even if they did not directly claim the person making the charge was a “pathological liar” is not ready for a high profile political campaign.

    One must be more thick skinned to be a candidate, and one must learn to respond in a more impersonal way.

  59. JT

    Robert, you didn’t answer my question about what the word “contra-indicated” means. Maybe most people have, but I’ve never heard it before. Can you tell me what it means and who uses it? Or can someone else?

  60. Jose C

    One must be more thick skinned to be a candidate, and one must learn to respond in a more impersonal way.

    This is true. Politics is a very dirty business. Just ask Sarah Palin and her son Trig, her husband, her daughter, . . .

  61. Robert Capozzi

    JT, I picked up the “indicated/contra-indicated” convention from an author named Jed McKenna. He — I assume — applied it from the medical world.

    It’s a more neutral way of saying the right thing or wrong thing.

    Professor Knapp overstates. For ex., legalize heroin is indicated. Legalize heroin tomorrow is contra-indicated.

    Contrast that with: Legalize marijuana > indicated. Legalize marijuana tomorrow > also indicated.

    What is indicated or contra-indicated takes into account both theory and application. Why would we waste time advocating things that not only are NOT going to happen, but which tend to discredit Ls and L-ism with large sections of the population? What purpose does it serve?

    The only answer I can think of is to shock.

    IMO.

  62. JT

    Robert: “JT, I picked up the “indicated/contra-indicated” convention from an author named Jed McKenna. He — I assume — applied it from the medical world.

    It’s a more neutral way of saying the right thing or wrong thing.”

    Okay, thank you for your response. I figured that much out from your usage though. I was just wondering, indicated by who and for what? To indicate just means to point to. In this context, it’s a strange thing to say, as opposed to just good vs. bad or popular vs. unpopular. And I don’t think most people have ever even heard of “indicated” or “contra-indicated” before. But by all means, continue with obscure terminology.

  63. Robert Capozzi

    jt: I was just wondering, indicated by who and for what?

    me: In the end, what is indicated, what direction to go, what is “right”, are individual things determined by the individual. We each decide for ourselves what seems virtuous, workable and peaceful.

    As I said, those in medicine use this terminology all the time. Wall Streeters uses indicated, too. Using it in a political context, I’d agree, is obscure…though with any luck, that will change! 😉

    Many of the early theorists of L-ism posited absolutist constructs that, I contend, doom the prospects for liberty because such constructs are disconnected from the way the world works. All is not lost, however, for increasingly many L thinkers are adjusting the theory toward a more multi-dimensional approach.

  64. Michael H. Wilson

    re 84 Yup! and using words that are uncommon doesn’t help either.

  65. Red Phillips

    Contra-indicated is used in medicine all the time. As in “Bactrim is contra-indicated in patients with an allergy to sulfa drugs.” That type thing.

  66. Robert Capozzi

    the medical dichotomy indicated/contra-indicated is sometimes expressed as healing/harmful, e.g., cutting taxes and spending is healing, raising them is harmful; or, ending the Iraq War would be healing; continuing it is harmful.

    Or, an initiative could “work,” or it could be “dysfunctional.”

  67. Aliza Shehpati

    So, What Is A ‘President­ial Explorator­y Committee,­’ Exactly? – For Newt and most of them its a way to fleece supporters of money, they all noticed how Newt has had this job of pretending to run for years making big bucks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *